TEHERAN • President Hassan Rouhani vowed yesterday that Iran would boost its ballistic missile capabilities despite criticism from the United States.
This came as Iran displayed a new missile at a military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of its devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
"Whether you like it or not, we are going to strengthen our military capabilities which are necessary for deterrence," he said in a speech.
Criticism by the US administration of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers has focused heavily on Teheran's continuing missile programme. Teheran says the missiles are legitimate under the deal as they are not designed to carry a nuclear warhead. But Washington says they breach the spirit of the deal as they can potentially carry a nuclear warhead, and has imposed new sanctions over Iran's continuing launches and tests.
Iran's new missile, named Khoramshahr, "has a range of 2,000km and can carry multiple warheads", the official Irna news agency quoted Revolutionary Guards aerospace chief General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying.
President Donald Trump is due to report to the US Congress on Oct 15 on whether or not he believes Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal. If he decides it is not, it could mean renewed US sanctions and the collapse of the agreement.